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Helena, MT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: One of Helena's main cultural attractions is the Myrna Loy theater, a performing arts center and movie house in the Rodney Street neighborhood. To make the outdoor area next to the theater more welcoming, the Myrna Loy installed ADA-accessible benches, added artistic bike racks, hung LED party lights and constructed planters. Additionally, they decorated dumpsters and a nearby vacant historic building with artwork. Since these improvements, the community has continued to redevelop the space, adding murals and other public art.

St. Paul, MN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: After a survey of North End residents revealed a need for additional seating in the Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary, the District 6 Planning Council installed benches along the site's accessible walkways. A local artist designed each bench to depict colorful animals, including a blue and orange turtle, a bright orange otter, a red rabbit and a yellow and green frog. Project organizers say they hope to give visitors a place to rest, enjoy the outdoors and make social connections.

Chapel Hill, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Transportation Systems Change

Description: This project will install pedestrian safety islands with garden beds, LED lighting and signs on streets in Chapel Hill, to make them safer for pedestrians, particularly those who are older adults.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Long Beach, CA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: During Walk Long Beach's inaugural Ranchos Walk -- a 9.4-mile hike -- more than 400 walkers laced up their shoes and strode along the city's high ridge. Event organizers set up temporary wayfinding signs and made improvements to a crosswalk to make it more visible. Meant to raise awareness about the benefits of walking for fitness and recreation, the event introduced participants to streets and neighborhoods that many had never seen before. Stretching from Rancho Los Alamitos in the southeast to Rancho Los Cerritos in the north, the walk's route showcased Long Beach's agricultural history: The area's two original ranchos date to the 1800s. Organizers initially anticipated half as many walkers to participate, but residents of all ages flocked to the challenge. In 2021, Walk Long Beach repeated the event with the theme of women in Long Beach history.

Compton, CA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: Through a series of planting events at Compton Creek Natural Park, this project replaced white alder trees with drought-tolerant species and surrounded them with native plants.

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